Hike the Backbone East from Latigo Canyon



3.8 miles

Elevation Gain

780 ft

Route Type


Added by Charlie Jasper

A quiet section of trail just a few minutes north of PCH with views generally east and west from the high points. A lot of variety in a short span.

Starting in a dusty, generally empty parking lot, at about 2,000' ASL, you'll go immediately due north, up a few more feet before you drop down into another canyon covered in live oaks (and poison oak), thistles, ferns, and wildflowers.

There's only one trail. It's windy, it's not hilly, it just drops here, climbs there, levels out there, climbs there, levels out, and climbs some more. Because it's an out-and-back, this becomes down, level, down, level, climb. About 1/3 of the trail is solidly in the shade, but if you start early enough, you won't be getting beaten down by the sun.

In the morning, on all but the most hot days, it will be cool. You'll work up a decent sweat, so you may not need a windbreaker during the summer, but during the cooler months, have an extra layer or two just in case.

Oh, bonus: bug-free. No standing water, very little flowing water (all streams would be seasonal, anyway). Minimal bugs. I did almost walk into a spiderweb, though.

Lastly, when you're done, be sure to hit up the Old Place to get the greatest grilled cheese out there. 

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Know for

Mountain Biking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby



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